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physics

planetary science

Wandering Space Rocks Help Solve Mysteries of Planet Formation

July 16, 2019

After an interstellar asteroid shot past the sun, scientists realized that there’s probably a lot of itinerant rocks out there.

Abstractions blog

How (Relatively) Simple Symmetries Underlie Our Expanding Universe

July 15, 2019

Although Einstein’s theory of space-time seems more complicated than Newtonian physics, it greatly simplified the mathematical description of the universe.

Abstractions blog

The Quantum Theory That Peels Away the Mystery of Measurement

July 3, 2019

A recent test has confirmed the predictions of quantum trajectory theory.

Q&A

How to Understand the Universe When You’re Stuck Inside of It

June 27, 2019

Lee Smolin’s radical idea to reimagine how we view the universe.

symmetry

The Simple Idea Behind Einstein’s Greatest Discoveries

June 26, 2019

Lurking behind Einstein’s theory of gravity and our modern understanding of particle physics is the deceptively simple idea of symmetry. But physicists are beginning to question whether focusing on symmetry is still as productive as it once was.

Abstractions blog

Philosophers Debate New ‘Sonic Black Hole’ Discovery

June 25, 2019

Opinions differ about what recent measurements of a sound-trapping fluid reveal about light-trapping black holes.

insights puzzle

When Magic Is Seen in Twisted Graphene, That’s a Moiré

June 20, 2019

What do moiré patterns seen in optics, art, photography and color printing have to do with superconducting layers of graphene?

quantum information theory

How to Turn a Quantum Computer Into the Ultimate Randomness Generator

June 19, 2019

Pure, verifiable randomness is hard to come by. Two proposals show how to make quantum computers into randomness factories.

Photo of a silver metal plate with chips mounted on its surface.
Abstractions blog

A New Law to Describe Quantum Computing’s Rise?

June 18, 2019

Neven’s law states that quantum computers are improving at a “doubly exponential” rate. If it holds, quantum supremacy is around the corner.